Kathrada Foundation’s riposte to racial comments by ANC bigwigs

Staff Writer | May 02, 2019
The Foundation established by Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada ticks off ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and Gauteng MEC Faith Mazibuko over “undertones” in comments about race.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says it is “not coincidental” that three signature events celebrating the lives of Bram Fischer, Klaas de Jonge and David Webster should “come in the wake” of racial remarks by senior ANC politicians.

In a statement, Dr Ismail Vadi, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said: “Over the next few days, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be hosting three signature events celebrating the lives of Bram Fischer, Klaas de Jonge and David Webster. It is not coincidental that these commemorative events should come in the wake of remarks made by the Secretary-General of the ANC, Ace Magashule, that voters should not vote for an umlungu (a white person), and the disparaging remarks by Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko, regarding the employment of Whites and Indians in senior managerial positions in government.

“The undertones of such comments – which may not be overtly racist – belies the non-racial character and historical traditions of the ANC and the broader liberation movement.

“Kathrada, from an early age until his death two years ago, characterised his life’s contribution to the liberation movement as a struggle against racism and for a non-racial, democratic and non-sexist South Africa. Advocating, propagating and promoting the vision of a non-racial society free from racial prejudice, bigotry and discrimination was a central part of his existence.”

Dr Vadi added: “There can be no doubt that Bram Fischer, Klaas de Jonge and Dr David Webster had contributed immensely to the building of a non-racial and democratic society. For this they suffered enormously. In the case of Fischer and Webster, they paid the ultimate price for the freedom and liberty of others. And in the case of de Jonge, it was at great personal risk and sacrifice that he participated in the armed struggle against a racist state.”

Dr Vadi said: “It saddens us that some leaders and members of the liberation movement – as in society at large – have so quickly forgotten the profound contribution of White democrats and revolutionaries to the struggle for freedom and democracy in our country.”


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